The following trick question appeared in the early 19th century in a Mother Goose nursery rhyme: As I was going to St Ives, I met a man with seven wives, Every wife had seven sacks, Every sack had seven cats, Every cat had seven kits, Kits, cats, sacks, wives, How many were going to St. Ives? Answer: 2, 800 do you know how we get this answer?

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# How the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence are connected

Recall that the golden ratio is a special irrational number that is approximately equal to 1.618. It appears frequently in geometry, art, and architecture. Also recall that the Fibonacci sequence is the series of numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 … Each number is found by adding up the two numbers before it. For example 5 is found by adding 3 and 2. German Astronomer Johannes Kepler once wrote that “as 5 is to 8, so 8 is to 13, approximately, and as 8 is to 13, so 13 is to 21, approximately”. What Kepler…

# Phi, the number that helps us make beautiful art

The Golden Ratio (phi) There are several well known “irrational numbers”, which are numbers that cannot be expressed as a ratio between two numbers and it cannot be written as a simple fraction because there is not a finite number of numbers when written as a decimal. When irrational numbers are written as decimals the decimal would go on forever without repeating. An irrational number you are probably very familiar with is pi or Π which is equal to 3.14159265359 …. it is the irrational number that helps us understand everything that is circular. Another irrational number you may have…

# Prime number athletes … Reggie Miller #31

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars” – Khalil Gibran The biggest three point shooting star in the 90’s was Reggie Miller the skinny frail looking shooting guard for the Indiana Pacers. He was like of the Steph Curry of the 90’s, a baby faced sharp shooter. Much like Curry, Miller did not look tough, no Lebron James Marvel Super hero physique or Mike Tyson like menacing scowl. But he was tough. He was a handful to deal with even for perhaps the greatest player the world has ever seen (Michael Jordan) and always performed…

# How kids with dyscalculia may struggle socially

Dyscalculia makes life difficult. Having dyscalculia usually makes math class a humiliating experience, it also makes some common everyday skills difficult as well. Knowing left from right, reading a clock, using standard instruments of measurement such as a ruler or measuring cup, courting money and making change are a few examples. But perhaps the most painful problem dyscalculia gives us is the social challenges it creates. We can always find a way to avoid numbers, in fact we spend most of our time NOT working with numbers. Math class only lasts about an hour a day. But we are always social. We can never avoid being social no…

# Dyscalculia… why its important we learn more about it

Here’s a simple question for you to answer, which number is larger 55 or 23? The answer is of course 55, most of us can answer this question in less than 0.5 seconds. But there are a few who will take as long as 3 seconds. These people may have something called dyscalculia. Dyscalculia (also known as number blindness) is a condition in which a person’s number sense is defective. People diagnosed with dyscalculia usually have problems correlating they symbol for a number (for example 7) with the number of objects the symbol represents. Counting is also difficult for them. This of course…

# Why estimating should be an important part of every math class

“How long does it take you to drive to work” is a very common question asked, have you ever noticed that the answers we get to this question is almost always a range and never a precise single number? As in “About 15 – 20 minutes” as opposed to “18 minutes”. When it comes to answering questions dealing with quantity (like how long it takes to drive to work) we seem to be incapable of giving a precise single number as answer. When asked how “How many people showed up to the Christmas party?” we answer “about 100, 150”. When…